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Satellite must-carry OK

The Supreme Court last week declined to hear arguments on the satellite industry's appeal of the "carry one, carry all" must-carry rule, which requires DBS companies to carry all local TV signals in any market to which they want to deliver any such signals.

The satellite industry was disappointed by the decision. "Today's action will reduce competition ... millions of consumers in smaller and mid-sized markets will not receive local channels via satellite and will be forced to rely on frequently unreliable over-the-air broadcast signals," said Andy Wright, president of the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association. EchoStar had an uncharacteristically moderate response: "EchoStar is disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision today to deny a writ of certiorari to allow our appeal of satellite must-carry, but it is clear that Congress, the FCC and the courts are in agreement the must-carry law is constitutional," said EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin.

Broadcasters celebrated. "This decision represents a major victory for viewers by enhancing the diversity of local television station choices on satellite," said NAB President Eddie Fritts.

Amazon backs access

Amazon.com, seeking to preclude cable companies from cornering the book-selling business, last week joined ISPs and activists calling for open-access rules requiring cable broadband nets to carry competing Internet providers. Without an access mandate, Amazon.com predicted in comments filed last week, cable companies would steer traffic to their own affiliated retail sites and away from rivals'.

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